Articles Posted in Premises Liability

Under the Local Government and Governmental Employee Tort Immunity Act (the Act), public institutions such as Illinois government agencies, city governments, and recreational districts are immune from lawsuits. Historically, the purpose of the Act was to help the government operate efficiently without burdensome lawsuits. Generally, the Act protects public and government agencies from lawsuits stemming from negligence related to their operations.

However, several exceptions exist that waive the government’s immunity. Some exceptions are straight forward; however, some situations do not fall squarely within the enumerated exceptions. Moreover, the law imposes enhanced procedural requirements and damage caps on plaintiffs who file claims against the government in certain cases. Injury victims who wish to recover against a negligent city government agency or their employee must thoroughly and effectively gather and present evidence to support their lawsuits.

Lawsuits against the government often stem from injuries that the victim suffered on public property. Public property includes places such as city parking lots, city parks, public playgrounds, city buildings, public intersections, and city buses. In most cases, the law requires that the city does not act negligently; however, depending on the type of accident, the city may only have a duty not to act recklessly. Some common reasons people file lawsuits against the city stem from injuries related to city car and bus accidents, construction accidents, damages stemming from poorly lit streets or damaged sidewalks, and accidents at dangerous intersections.

With winter encompassing Chicago, the season of slipping and falling is upon us. Every winter, countless individuals become injured due to falling on icy surfaces. We’ve all experienced it; you’re walking along and then without any warning you find your feet slipping out from underneath and you end up flat on your back on the cold and icy surface.

These accidents can happen anywhere and commonly occur in parking lots and on public sidewalks. Over one million Americans are injured in slip and fall accidents every year and these accidents increase during the winter months thanks to snow and ice. These accidents are especially common in the Chicago area as the temperature often drops below freezing and walking is a common form of transportation. Slip and fall accidents can result in injuries ranging for mild to severe. Luckily most people walk away with only a few scrapes and bruises, but sometimes these accidents can lead to broken bones, damaged muscles, large wounds that require stitches, or even a concussion. These more serious injuries can require extended and expensive medical treatment like surgery or physical therapy.

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Concern has been expressed by many homeowners following new information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which casts doubt about the safety of some flooring material.

The federal government began looking into Lumber Liquidators recently with regard to the amount of formaldehyde used in some of its laminate flooring and with the help of the CDC, has expressed concern.

The public first got widespread accounts of potential issues with Lumber Liquidators flooring back in March of 2015, when the news program 60 Minutes aired a special on the company. Through its investigation, 60 Minutes determined that much of the laminate flooring material sold by Lumber Liquidators was produced in China and that it allegedly failed to meet health and safety standards in California, the state with the strictest standards in the nation. Based on testing done in an independent lab on some of the flooring, the product that was produced in China failed to meet formaldehyde emission standards – in some cases by a large margin. Similar products that were produced in the United States did not have the same emission standards, nor did some products that were sold by major retailers.

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This time of year, many people are traveling in preparation for the holiday season. They may be spending time with friends and family and may be moving from one gathering to another as the days and weeks pass. Hopefully, these celebrations will be positive and there will be no accidents or incidents related to the safety of those who live in the Chicago area.

But odds are that several people will be hurt in premise liability accidents, or accidents that take place upon the property of another. Typically, this can include things like slipping on an icy driveway, falling on a broken stairway, stumbling on a defective or improperly designed portion of the home, or even becoming injured in an area that was not maintained or repaired properly. The victims of premise liability accidents may suffer from serious, even permanent injuries that may require medical treatment. Some may miss time from work while they recover and nearly all will be forced to endure pain and suffering.

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Chicago is a city oozing with culture, overflowing with life, and influencing the rest of the country each and every day. Its population of approximately 2.7 million people makes it the third largest city in the nation behind only New York City and Los Angeles, but unlike Los Angeles, the footprint of Chicago is relatively small and therefore its citizens live and work more closely together. This has led to space issues that have been resolved in a universal manner: building upwards. Today, Chicago hosts a number of tall buildings, complexes, and even skyscrapers to utilize its limited space in the best manner possible.

Taller buildings make many things possible in Chicago. Not only do you get a picturesque, traditional skyline but you also get plenty of real estate options from which to choose, often at affordable prices. Whether you are looking for residential or commercial property, there is something to suit your needs. But these taller facilities do have some potential downfalls alongside all the benefits and one of them often is a safety threat posed by stairs.
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Memorial Day weekend is treated as a three-day weekend for many workers in the Chicago area which provides them with an extra day in which to commemorate the holiday. A significant portion of the city’s population chooses to do so by gathering with friends and family, spending time outdoors, and maybe even barbecuing if the weather is nice. As Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer in the minds of many, summertime activities tend to predominate these celebrations.

Unfortunately, every year, several people in the Chicago area are injured in accidents around the Memorial Day weekend and some of those people are forced to seek medical help as a result. Expenses can accumulate quickly if you become an injury victim and other losses, like wages missed when you are unable to work, can add to the financial hardship you may endure. While these incidents cannot be undone once they occur, the laws in Chicago are designed to help victims by guaranteeing them protections and certain rights should those victims choose to take action. Among those rights is the ability to seek and obtain financial compensation if you are injured due to negligence or reckless conduct so that you can receive the money you need to help you move forward after an accident. When in doubt or confused about your rights, speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you realize what options may be available to you and whether you have a valid claim for your damages.
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Many businesses around Chicago and the surrounding suburbs open their doors to the public by serving food, selling clothes, or trading in other goods. When a business operates within Illinois, it is governed by state specific rules that make sure an establishment is safe for all those who may enter, including the structure itself, interior areas like stairwells and elevators, and the exterior of the building including any areas walked by pedestrians. Failing to keep a building in a safe manner may be a violation of the law and may cause the building’s owner and/or manager to be legally liable for any injuries that result.

The damages that stem from a premises liability accident in Chicago can range from minor to severe. In some cases, an incident can prove fatal if a victim loses his or her life. While the nature of injuries may vary, the relief possible is often similar; victims in Illinois can seek recovery for their losses, both monetary and other, through the use of a civil claim. It may be possible to obtain payment for medical expenses, lost wages missed while taking time off work, pain and suffering, and any other damages that result. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area can help you understand your legal options if you have been hurt in a premises liability accident.

Details are still emerging regarding a Tuesday afternoon fire in an Elmhurst restaurant that left three people injured. At this time, officials believe that the fire began at the site of a gas line repair but it is not clear what caused the initial spark. Emergency medical personnel evaluated five people who were injured in the incident, which occurred near Illinois 83 and St. Charles Road, and treated two on the scene. The remaining three victims were transported to area hospitals with one victim taken to the burn unit at Loyola University Medical Center. The extent of their injuries are not clear at this time.

Firefighters from several agencies responded to the scene and successfully extinguished the fire. An investigation into the incident is ongoing at this time as authorities attempt to understand the facts that led to the fire.
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The laws in Chicago are clear when it comes to buildings: it is up to the owner, operator, or manager of an establishment to ensure that the building is safe. The areas to be occupied must be maintained and any damage must be repaired or replaced. Failing to keep a building in a safe and reasonable manner may lead to an injury and may result in legal liability on the part of the building’s owner.

Every year, people in Chicago are injured when they are on premises that are in an unsafe condition, and when that happens, the victims of these incidents may be entitled to pursue legal relief through the use of a civil claim. Recoveries may be possible to provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses that are experienced due to a premises liability accident. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who represents clients in Chicago may help you understand whether you have a valid claim if you have been hurt in an accident.

Around noon today, a 34-year-old woman was walking near the Second Presbyterian Church in the 1900 block of South Michigan Avenue when a piece of a stone gargoyle broke from the rest of the statute and fell to the ground, striking the woman in the head. The woman, reportedly a Chicago resident, was walking with her fiance at the time of the incident. Emergency crews responded and transported the woman to an area hospital. Though doctors worked to treat her, the extent of her injuries was too severe and she died a short time later.

Officials are still reviewing the incident and trying to determine what caused the portion of the gargoyle to fall. At this time, it appears that a metal piece providing decoration on the building’s exterior fell and struck the gargoyle, causing a portion of the gargoyle to break free and fall. It is not clear what caused the metal decoration to break or whether that began the chain of events.

Reports indicate that the building at issue failed several inspections in recent years, at least one of which was related to the conditions of the building’s exterior. City records reflect that some repair work occurred in 2012 but it is not clear what areas of the building underwent repairs at that time.
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As summertime begins to wind down in Chicago, the available time for kids to swim outdoors in pools is coming to a close. Before school begins, children across the city are taking to pools to get in some last minute time in the water, swimming and playing during the warm weather. Most of these children safely enjoy their time in a swimming pool but unfortunately not all do. Every year, swimming pool accidents lead to injuries among children and adults across Chicago. Some may even lose their lives while in a swimming pool.

These accidents can be devastating to those involved as well as their families and loved ones. Damages may be severe or even permanent and can lead to financial hardship due to medical expenses or even lost wages if a victim or a victim’s parent must take time off from work. The laws in Illinois are designed to protect the victims of accidents, including swimming pool accidents, and may enable victims to obtain compensation for their damages that result from an incident. Speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand your legal options if you or your loved one has been harmed in a swimming pool incident.

A Tuesday morning swimming party reportedly turned tragic when a 12-year-old child drown in the water, according to local police. The incident took place at an apartment complex pool in Arlington Heights on Goebbert Road. According to witnesses, several children were swimming in the pool when the 12-year-old went to the deep end and fell under the water. An employee of the apartment complex reportedly noticed the girl and pulled her from the water where emergency medical crews responded and transported her to Northwestern Community Hospital for treatment. After some time at Northwestern Community Hospital, the girl was transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago but the child’s injuries were too severe and she died at the hospital.

At this time, officials believe that the child did not live at the apartment complex where the incident occurred but rather was a resident of Chicago and was simply visiting for the day. The incident is under investigation at this time while officials try to determine what led to the girl’s drowning and whether negligence played a role.
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Long days and warm weather come to Chicago every summer and draw people outside. With a number of residential homes around the city possessing outdoor seating areas, many citizens can enjoy summertime while staying at home or visiting a friend. Porches, decks, and patios can provide a great spot to sit back and relax.

Most people do not think about the safety of a porch when they are using it, but often these porches and decks are in states of disrepair, leading to a potentially hazardous situation and a premises liability accident. These incidents may lead to injuries and the victims of these accidents may be entitled to financial relief. If you have been hurt in a Chicago porch accident, you should consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer to learn about your legal options, including whether you have a valid claim for relief.

Chicago has experienced yet another porch collapse, according to local police. The most recent incident occurred on Sunday evening on the city’s West Side and sent eight people, including two children, to area hospitals.

Officials have reported that the eight victims were in the vicinity of a porch in the 700 block of North St. Louis Avenue around 6:00 p.m. when a porch collapsed for reasons that are not yet clear. At least one adult was in serious condition following the incident but the status of the other victims is not known at this time. Emergency medical crews responded to the crash and transported all victims to nearby hospitals including Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Norwegian-American Hospital.

Like many porches in Chicago, the porch at issue was reportedly constructed of wood. Wood is a safe choice when it comes to building a deck or a porch but it deteriorates with time and exposure to nature, meaning that it must be maintained and rotten or decaying portions must be replaced periodically. Failure to do this may undermine the integrity and structural soundness of a porch. At this early stage of the investigation, officials have not yet determined whether rot or decay played a part in this porch collapse accident.
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